Waking up real early, like Apple CEO Tim Cook and President Donald Trump

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 February, 2017, 2:28am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 February, 2017, 2:29am

Tim Cook wakes at 3:45 am. Maybe you should, too

Almost every morning at about 3:45 am, they begin to happen. Tim Cook’s emails, that is.

Yes, hours before most have even hit the snooze button, Apple’s CEO is firing off missives that will be in the in-boxes of employees and associates when they stagger into work or pick up their phones from their bedside tables.

Cook isn’t the only one with itchy fingers in the early hours.

Take Donald Trump. Most days at about 7 am, the Twitter-obsessed president is tap-tapping diatribes such as this:

And Trump is often tweeting on four or five hours of sleep.

What waking up early gives early risers, of course, is time, a hugely valuable asset. And uninterrupted time is even more precious, especially for those with lots to do.

“To be successful and achieve your goals you need to make time to focus on your priorities,” said Lisa Zaslow, founder of Gotham Organisers, a New York City-based professional organising consultant. “Starting the day early — on your own terms — means your productivity won’t get hijacked, no matter how many interruptions and unforeseen events occur later on.”

For some, it’s not just time and lack of interruptions that is garnered by early hours, but also creativity.

For instance, famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright would wake at about 4 am and work for three or four hours, according to Mason Currey, author of Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.

Getting up early doesn’t have to mean getting less sleep, but for many, it does.

President Trump, yep. And Margaret Thatcher – prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 – would stay up working until past midnight, and then would be up at 5 am to listen to Farming Today, a show for up-at-the-crack-of-dawn agricultural workers, before heading to her office, according to the BBC.


Cook gets a few more hours than the Iron Lady – he typically goes to bed at about 10:30 pm – but he is among many CEOs up and at ’em early.

United Kingdom-based retailer Home Arena released data in 2015 that tells when some other top executives get up: AOL CEO Tim Armstrong (5 am), Xerox’s Ursula Burns (5:15), PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi (4), Fiat Chrysler’s Sergio Marchionne (3:30), GM’s Mary Barra (at her desk by 6) and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz (also in the office at 6).